Week One: Success

How do you define success? 

Photo by: Olivia Van Wormer

Photo by: Olivia Van Wormer

To begin, I found the Merriam Webster definition for success, to get myself oriented and start to unravel this term: favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. 

The other evening, I was having a discussion with a friend about the need to go to college, he being pro-college and me, being more than skeptical. As the argument became more heated and the wine drained from my glass, it struck me that our fundamental principles differed. At the core of this conversation was an erroneous assumption that we had the same definition of success. His, understandably and correctly if we are to follow the Merriam Webster definition and assume that the term wealth in this sense relates to money, was centered around monetary gain; while mine, was based more broadly on personal happiness, a concept that I will define in greater detail below.

I am not one who believes money is evil or bad, after all, how can an object be anything other than what it is? Isn’t it entirely human to want to have enough money to live the exact life you desire and be able to provide for yourself and those you love? So wouldn’t that lead, in turn, to a happy life? The two can be said to go hand in hand but I found it hard to theoretically sacrifice pieces of my life to gain his definition of success.  

From parents, to teachers, friends, family and mentors, I have been wished success many times. But have I ever taken the time to stop and define what the term means to me? Have you? If it has a physical form, what would it look like? What characteristics line up with other people and what are seemingly unique to yourself? Next time you think, that person is successful, ask yourself, what about their life makes me think so?   

It took me a while to answer these questions and ponder what life would encompass to be classified as “successful”. To avoid being long winded, I will include the three basic components that seemed key for me to attain “personal happiness”. First, I needed forward motion, a sense that I am learning and using my mind in different ways, avoiding any sense of stagnation. Second, that my relationships with my friends, family, partners and self, nourish and challenge me. Finally, that no matter where I was in my life, a sense of calm and enjoyment of the moment to moment was understood and experienced. 

As I read over what I wrote, I discovered many of my needs for personal success were already a part of my life. Was it possible I had already “succeeded” in some way? Obviously, an unknown amount of growth and challenges are to come but in times when life feels turbulent, the reassurance that I’ve already created much of what I want, makes me momentarily hush the question, “What the hell am I doing with my life?”


”It just takes energy to get angry, it eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead”--The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Absolutely one of the best audiobooks I have listened to in a long time. The type of book that ends and you instantly want to hear it all over again. 



In search of elsewhere is my first solo adventure into the world of website building. I have worked a bit with Wix which I enjoyed, but after hearing such positive things about Squarespace, wanted to give it a try. I found it very straightforward and quickly got any question answered. My only challenge was finding which template I wanted to use and where to start. 

Time: 7 hours focused work to create the website